Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a model where servers and other resources are provisioned as required over the cloud. This model provides self-service, on-demand access to IT resources, which means users can create and access tools they need within minutes, instead of days, weeks or months.
New technologies and service models can change how businesses operate, and become key drivers in innovation and cutting back operational expenditure.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is one such model where servers and other resources are provisioned as required over the cloud. This model provides self-service, on-demand access to IT resources, which means users can create and access tools they need within minutes, instead of days, weeks or months.
This article will explore how IaaS can drive innovation, the benefits of IaaS and how a large enterprise data warehouse company implemented an effective hybrid cloud management solution with Red Hat CloudForms.
The IaaS model differs from the traditional mode of IT operations, and opens up service possibilities for businesses. Companies of any size can access state-of-the-art datacenters, secure servers and high performance storage, all without the need for expensive infrastructure.
Open source IaaS is one of the most effective approaches, as it means access to open, hybrid clouds that allot capacity based on demand, with pricing flexible depending on the services used. The business also controls access, helping to keep both applications and tools secure. When coupled with unified management, IT can respond to a variety of user needs more effectively even in highly complex environments.
In the 2014 Future of Cloud Computing Annual Survey, sponsored by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research, noted that IaaS adoption is reaching its tipping point, with more than 50% of businesses using IaaS technologies to harness elastic computing resources.
Of course, for IaaS to be successfully implemented it's important to understand the key benefits.
The key benefits and driving innovation
IaaS means services working together onsite, and subsequently ensuring smoother operations that are more flexible to the needs of the company at any given moment.
Here, three of the key benefits of IaaS have been detailed.
Unified management: IaaS means instead of multiple systems requiring monitoring and oversight, there's a single management interface. This in turn boosts efficiency and reliability across both private and public cloud environments.
On-demand services: Businesses often have flexible IT needs, based on the current performance of the company. For example, if growth is high, services may need to be increased to handle demand.
Interoperability: Traditional IT vendors usually utilize proprietary systems and as such difficulties can arise when attempting to move providers. IaaS means support for any number of platforms, whether virtual, physical or based in the cloud.
Taking advantage of IaaS means there's less reliance on a single IT vendor and the associated complexity. Businesses can instead get more out of open services and focus on driving innovation.
This is accomplished by removing the need to implement new infrastructure on site, establish security systems and set up the appropriate management practices.
Finding a solution to enterprise cloud management and automation
A massive data warehouse and analytics company needed to accelerate product delivery for its development and QA teams, and opted for the use of a private cloud solution.
To ensure that this private cloud could meet the needs of more than 8,000 employees and 2,600 installations across the globe, the company decided to build a private cloud that would enable automated provisioning and self service for the developers and testers . Reducing the time to market for new versions of the company's software would increase agility and result in competitive advantage
The company formally and thoroughly evaluated available private cloud management solutions in its lab with hands-on participation from the development and testing teams.
Because Red Hat CloudForms solutions outscored and outperformed all other solutions evaluated, the company decided to select the leading provider of enterprise cloud management and automation solutions. The company was able to dramatically increase productivity as a result, amongst other benefits such as better governance and accelerated service delivery and better lifecycle management.
When technologies work together, organizations can aim to become more agile and responsive to changing business and customer demands. An open IaaS solution may just be that solution, where less time is spent on IT operations, more on innovation.